Bay Ridge Book Club Meetup

Troubles by J. G. Farrell

The book is described:  Winner of the Lost Man Booker Prize; 1919: After surviving the Great War, Major Brendan Archer makes his way to Ireland, hoping to discover whether he is indeed betrothed to Angela Spencer, whose Anglo-Irish family owns the once-aptly-named Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough. But his fiancée is strangely altered and her family's fortunes have suffered a spectacular decline. The hotel's hundreds of rooms are disintegrating on a grand scale; its few remaining guests thrive on rumors and games of whist; herds of cats have taken over the Imperial Bar and the upper stories; bamboo shoots threaten the foundations; and piglets frolic in the squash court. Meanwhile, the Major is captivated by the beautiful and bitter Sarah Devlin. As housekeeping disasters force him from room to room, outside the order of the British Empire also totters: there is unrest in the East, and in Ireland itself the mounting violence of "the troubles." Troubles is a hilarious and heartbreaking work by a modern master of the historical novel.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    ... (only 100 pages read thus far, and have to ask) is there a war, (or) a time-and-place throughout Western literature responsible for more (tales of) star-crossed lovers than[masked] Ireland and Great Britain?

    I suspected this to be a handsome; melancholic; (structurally) Virginia Woolf-alike novel (it helps to be moving through it in brief, 20-page sittings at a time, and in post midnight quietude) albeit never so far as to have its calm, loquacious-in-the-face-of-hostility demeanor call to mind episodes among our own contemporary lunacies of "dissent":

    (Then again) I suppose there is something to be said for that.

    May 30, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      ... cancel on my own title suggestion to the group for crying out loud (not to mention miss most of today's 'Snapped' marathon to go "sight-see" Times Square which I suppose makes sense if you've come to New York City from Costa Rica "to get away from it all"); here's looking to July and/or August!

      June 9, 2013

    • Susan R.

      Life happens, William. Go with the flow and you'll be a happier, saner person. Take care. This rain is supposed to end soon.

      June 10, 2013

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